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UN Alarmed as Domestic Violence Spikes 04/06 06:04

   UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday 
night that there has been "a horrifying global surge in domestic violence" as 
fear of the coronavirus has grown along with its social and economic 
consequences.

   The U.N. chief, whp appealed on March 23 for an immediate cease-fire in 
conflicts around the world to tackle the pandemic, said in statement it is time 
to appeal for an end to all violence, "everywhere, now."

   "For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be 
safest --- in their own homes," Gutteres said. "And so I make a new appeal 
today for peace at home --- and in homes --- around the world." 

   He said that in some countries, which he didn't name, "the number of women 
calling support services has doubled."

   At the same time, he said, health care providers and police are overwhelmed 
and understaffed, local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds, and 
some domestic violence shelters are closed while others are full.

   "I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence 
against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19," 
Guterres said. 

   He said that means creating safe ways for women to seek support without 
alerting their abusers, setting up emergency warning systems that abused women 
can access in pharmacies and food stores, increasing spending on online 
services and civil society organizations to help those abused, and declaring 
shelters an essential service.

   According to media reports, calls to online services and domestic violence 
cases have increased in the United States, gender-based violence cases doubled 
in India during the first week of restricted movements, the killing of women 
has surged in Turkey since the government advised people to stay home March 11, 
and almost 90,000 reports of gender-based violence were reported in South 
Africa during the first week of its lock-down. 

   In addition, the Australian government reported a 75% increase in online 
searches for support on domestic violence, and a French minister said domestic 
violence rose 32% across France and 36% in Paris in one week, according to the 
media reports. 

   "Together, we can and must prevent violence everywhere, from war zones to 
people's homes, as we work to beat COVID-19," the U.N. chief said. 


(KR)

 
 
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